Polanco update

He was a late scratch Saturday with a sore right thumb, but he’s expected to start on Sunday. He was going to get one of these two games off, so the thinking was to give him Saturday once his soreness became an issue. Nothing major.


That’s excellent news. Hopefully htis is a non-recurring injury.
BTW, the job Lopez did today was probably one of the key reasons we won. He struck out Tiger Killer Scutaro with a couple of men on. Seay getting Cust was big too but honest to goodness, that Scutaro hitting in the bottom of the order has given us fits.

Nice job Aquilino and here’s hoping you stay with the big club.

Found an interesting article on the Free Press site about Ryan Raburn: http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070812/SPORTS02/708120604/1050

Eastern League Pitcher of the Week:

“Jair Jurrjens, a right-handed starting pitcher for the Erie SeaWolves, is the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week for the week ending August 5th. The 6’1”, 160 lb. hurler started one game for the SeaWolves last week and went 1-0 with 10 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA. The 21-year old made his lone appearance of the week last Wednesday night at New Britain Stadium and struck out 10 batters without issuing a walk while tossing a three-hit shutout in Erie’s 5-0 victory over the Rock Cats. Jurrjens, a native of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, lowered his ERA to 3.32, which is tied for seventh in the league. He is also among the league leaders in shutouts (1-tied 1st) and strikeouts (90-9th). Jair, who went 4-3 with 53 strikeouts and a 3.36 ERA in 67 innings of work during 12 starts for the SeaWolves last season, was signed by the Detroit Tigers as a nondrafted free agent on May 22nd, 2003.

Pretty good bet JL will give C-Mo a start in LF today. He is probably thinking that he might be able to “get it together” against a lowerr tier LHP.
At this point I am very ambivalent about a good Monroe performance. While it would be good to see him stroking the ball like he has done in the past will a good performance have any staying power? How will it affect Marcus Thames playing time?

Marcus (even considering the injury time off) really has not had a whole lot of playing time this year een compared with last year. I wonder what it would be like if JL just officially gave him the LF job?

I expect we will see Marcus at first today and I hope JL does not sit Granderson. He can hit lefties and he needs to hit lefties to become the premier player he is destined to be. Leave him in.

Very key today for another “quality start”. We need them back to back and we need at least 3 starters pitching well every time out the rest of the way.

Be nice to see the team get a couple of walks today. Though this guy has thus far shown a pretty decent BB/IP ratio.

Ideally we want 7 IP from Nate and the offense to hit from top to bottom. That would be a good follow-up “Mojo” after what the club (and the fans) have been through.

Nate is having some real problems today. Sure would be nice to see him recover and get 7 innings in.

I think the Tigers need to keep pouring it on. The As never die and this is one of the most bizarre series I have seen in awhile.

I was disapponed to see Granderson out of the lineup today. I think it ismportant that he is left in to face lefties. He is a catalyst on this team and we need him in there every day. Unless he is physically challenged he should be playing.

Nate’s control is off. The ump has been inconsistent but Nate really has been all over the place.
After walking the #9 man JL did the right thing (obviously) by taking him out–whatever happens with Shannon. Not sure why on earth he brought in the lefty–seems weird to me and I graciously defer to the lovable Old Coot’s wisdmom. I just don’t agree with it.

Ahh–now I see. Kotsay has been inserted into the lineup for Swisher so there are 2 LHB scheduled to lead off the next inning.

Rivera in to douse the fire in the 8th vs the Indians.
Unblievably the Tigers could end up in 1st place should the games continue as they are.

Nice AB against a difficult delivery by Casey.

Man does Sheffield lead the league in pop-ups?

We really need him to pick up his game. I’ve said this before (and not that his last AB was such a situation), but he has not really delivered in the clutch with big hits.

Curtis caught a break on his liner but he got his bat on the ball, hit it hard and succeeded in getting the runner home from 3rd with 1 out.

That is something he had a lot of trouble with and often ended up strikkng out. The last couple of situations like that he has done the job.

Very nice to see.

Not a coincidence today that the Tigers had 8 walks to help score those 11 runs.

Hopefully this means that some discipline is returning to their game.

Nice victory and now we can start hoping that it only the first part of a much needed winning streak.

We now interrupt this programming for this special report. This falls under the “other things baseball” category from the blog title.

As I said yesterday, I went to the Potomac vs Winston-Salem class A game last night. Potomac pitcher Justin Jones took a perfect game into the ninth inning. He got the first man, then allowed a clean single up the middle to break it up, much to everyone’s disappointment. I have never witnessed a no-hitter in person, much less a perfect game, although I would have thought some of the guys we faced in high school would have no-hit us. It was disappointing to say the least, but it made for a fun night. This was part of a company picnic outing, so a large number of folks in my section had no idea what was going on. They must have been puzzled at the end of the eighth inning when my wife and I gave Jones a standing ovation, then even more so when we gave him another standing O after he finally allowed the hit.

Rod Allen, the son of the Tiger announcer, played leftfield for Winston-Salem. Good looking kid, I thought he can show more at the plate than he has been. My wife and I gave him a big cheer everytime he came up, and he finally looked up at us, wondering who the heck are these people here in Woodbridge, Virginia cheering for me?

Top it all off with a good postgame fireworks show, and a good time was had by all.

Marty, we didn’t have the Chicken but we did have Screech from the Washington Nationals. The Chicken is coming on August 31.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I had taped last night’s Tiger game, and watched the entire thing upon arriving home. Call it a doubleheader if you will. That homer from Ordonez was huge, and the tack-on runs provided by Inge were also huge. Poor Brandon must not have been getting much sleep with that new baby in the house. After he touched third for what he thought was the inning ending force out, he headed for the dugout which allowed the runner to make it safely to third. Mario was funny, going “Brandon, what are you doing?” Glad this had no effect on the game. Cost Justin two pitches.

I’ve been watching C-Mo in the dugout. No sitting and sulking for him, he’s a good friend and teammate, even when he’s rarely playing.

Today worked out well. That homeplate umpire, that Angel character, we’ve had him before and he was the same then. I think he makes his calls based on mood. Nate would have lasted a little longer if he’d gotten any kind of help from back there.

The Oakland announcers, Kuiper and Fosse, have gone on my “good” list of broadcast teams. Always prepared and have a good feel for a game of baseball, including the humor.

So, here we are in first place despite ourselves. We can’t escape it. Those Yankees are kicking some major butt, and I hope they cool down some by Thursday. Meanwhile, let’s get tomorrow’s game then catch Cleveland while they’re down. I think the only road to the playoffs is to win this division.

Another nice game, it looked like the Tigers of old. Beating up on bad pitching, and tacking on runs. Pitching was pretty good, I do think however that homeplate umpire was horrible, absolutely horrible. By my estimation he cost Detroit at least 2 runs if not three. He was absolutely horrible. And I don’t mean to sound like a homer, but I really do think that the two teams had different strike zones. I don’t know what anyone else thinks about that???

Keeping an eye an dear on the farm. Trahern pitched today and not very well either. Look for Jurrjens to get the call.

Maybin watch: He is hitting .400 with 3 HR in 3 games since being promoted, this after a lenghty injury.

I thought he should have been promoted a couple of months ago. Granderson, Maybin and ???? will make the best outfield in the magors. Maybin (actually I mean mayBE) as soon as next year.

Great victory today. Exactly what the doctor ordered. Nice job by Barzardo though I don’t think he is going to supply anything substantial other than a roster spot for Zoombya.

Here’s my wish list for the next few days:
-Durbin gives us 7 solid innings in a Tigers win.

– Jeremy has a 1-2-3 first inning tomorrow night.

– Porcello signs a contract that isn’t too outlandish.

– The Tigers announce that Kenny is starting on Wednesday.

Too much to ask for? Lets hope not.

Minor Trade:
“The Tigers have agreed to deal infielder Jack Hannahan to the Oakland A’s in exchange for outfielder Jason Perry, in a trade of minor leaguers who were not on the clubs’ respective 40-man rosters.”

Not sure why this deal was done. Hanahan had flexibility and could play 3 infield positions. Bats left-handed (as does Perry-but Perry does not hit LHP). Perry is an oufielder. Means little to the big club and must simply be for minor league roster needs.

Good wishes there, Brent. The least likely is Rogers starting on Wednesday, unfortunately. Whoever starts is going to have his hands full. It’s important to get a win tonight, giving us a one game lead going into Cleveland.

As far as the schedule goes, while we’re doing a home and home with New York, Cleveland is playing two road series at Tampa Bay and KC. I have confidence we can come out of this stretch in some semblance of good order. Then the stretch run. We’ve already seen an improved Rodney, how about an effective Rogers and Zumaya too? The hitting turned around as soon as Sheff and Marcus got back in there.

I like the lineup tonight. As much as I like seeing Raburn, I think that Marcus gives us the best chance to win every night. If we can just get Sheffield going, this lineup could be amazing.

Chad’s the key tonight. Let’s go Tigers.

Jair Jurrjens called up for Wednesday:

“SeaWolves right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens will start for the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night as they take on the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field in his Major League debut.”

Jurrjens, the fourth best prospect in the Tigers organization, has been stellar over his last three starts for the ‘Wolves going 3-0 with an 0.78 ERA.

On the season, Jurrjens is 7-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts and is the third best pitcher in the Eastern League. In 112.2 innings pitched, Jurrjens has struck out 94 batters while only issuing 31 walks. He has struck out 24 over his last three starts while issuing just a single free pass.

On August 1 at New Britain Stadium, Jurrjens tossed his first complete game since 2004. He went the distance allowing only three hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. The 10 punchouts tied his season high, one shy of his career high. He also earned “Eastern League Pitcher of the Week” honors for the week ending August 5.

The 21-year old native of Curacao joins Andrew Miller as the second SeaWolf to get the call to the Big Leagues in 2007.

Jurrjens will be going up against young Indians hurler Fausto Carmona (13-7, 3.26 ERA).

We realy need our future Hall of Famers to start contributing. Pudge is an easy out and when he does get a hit it usually doesn’t produce or promote any runs.
Sheffield is not getting the clutch or timely hits. He mashed a HR the other day when we were down 8-1.

When we have some ducks out there he seems to pop-up or ground out.

Pudge really needs to work the pitcher more. It has been noted on this forum by a couple of guys that he is swinging at everything. He has walked only 5 times all year and in fact hardly ever takes a pitch for a ball. He is an easy out right now because of the lack of plate discipline. It amazes me that as a catcher he is not intuitive enough to realize the importance working the pitcher and being more selective. McClendon really needs to have a chat with him, as the team needs for him to provide some offense, expecially hitting just in front of the bottom of the order.

I looked up some stats to see if I could back up my concerns with Sheffield’s HR production.

Sheffield has zero HR “Close & Late” (results in the 7th inning or later with the batting team either ahead by one run, tied or with the potential tying run at least on deck)

He has 1 grand slam and only 1 3-run HR.

13 of his homers have come with no one on.

He is 0 for 9 with men on 2nd and 3rd.

Like I say–the big hits are just not there. I think the guy is hurting physically and I just hope he can get feeling better.

Well this game doesn’t have a good feel to it. Thames makes a good catch on a ball blistered by Johnson and Guillen throws the ball away to let the 2 runners advance. Sounds like Casey wasn’t on the bag and Guillen didn’t have a chance at doubling up the runner. Guillen seems to be struggling right now.
JL is putting in Gas Can Grilli. Durbin was not very good today and he sure needed to come out.

A strikeout here would be nice but Scutaro has been hurting us so I am thinking if we get out of this giving up only 1 run we’ll be lucky.

I don’t understand why Grilli wasn’t yanked after walking Johnson. It’s beyond me.

8 straight balls. Didn’t we see Grilli do the same thing last year? When he loses it (and I’ve said this before) it ain’t comin’ back. Why is it so clear to fans and not to the Hernandez and Leyland?

Too bad the mojo left.

We made Gaudin look like Tom Seaver tonight.

Joel Zumaya pitched for Toledo in the bootom of the 8th. Got a groundout, gave up a double, then struck out the 3rd hitter to face him before being taken out for Darensbourg

I don’t know what, if anything, Leyland and Dombrowski are going to do about Grilli.

He has an elevated ERA, control problems and has been a central figure in some bad losses. They can talk all they want about his stuff and how good it is but the opposition is hitting about .300 against him and I just wonder how long they can afford to keep him around.

Well that was one more poor game we had to endure.

14 StrikeOuts??

Durbin lost it but Grilli clinched it. A lot of his inherited runners have been scoring.

I think we are going to see a little more of Rabelo from here on out.

Well Placido set a major league record today. Fantastic and I wouldn’t be surprised for him to go through the whole season without making an error. He is rare treat.

Congratulations, and many thanks Placido.

Boy it really ticks me off when our batter make a bad bad pitcher look like CY Young. Really, to be the problem starts with why in the heck did Leyland have Durbin going tonight anyway or last week for that matter?? He was not stretched out you are going to burn your bullpen and then you are screwed for the whole week. Wouldn’t it have been better to bring someone up for one game??? If I know that why don’t they. And poor Grilli just isn’t going to turn it around it is obvious. I keep hoping he will, but frankly he is usually brought in when it is a hopeless situation, he is being set up to fail so to speak.

Just when you think after the last few games that maybe they have turned the corner you now have to wonder. And to me it is not that they lost it is how they lost — they played tired and unconcerned. DISGUSTING.

Not a rats chance in **** that they are going to do anything with New York. I am not even sure they can win one game against them at this point. They haven’t even shown that they can win against bad team, let alone a good one.

Aside from the bad pitching, am I the only person to be appalled at the defense? The ridiculous (not an error, though) toss by Polanco to 3rd instead of getting a DP and then another error by Carlos. What a waste! Our fielding is deplorable!!!!!

I did a lot of research and found that Grilli is Leyland’s long lost son. I guess blood is thicker than water. Seriously, i watched every pitch Grilli made; he was behind 2-0 on nearly eeach batter he faced. There is no pitching with ease from anybody tonight; maybe Seay or Lopez when it really doesn’t matter.
Guys, the reality is that in this homestand, we beat one solid starter(Haren), and a decent guy(Blanton), but for goodness sakes, our solid hittind di not come from quality pitchers.

Dan’s research on Shef is interesting and scary. Same trend tonight. It’s hard to harp on Maggs, but he seemed in a fog after the first AB. Pudge stays in the ozone layer anymore, and Inge is good for his strike one, foul off pitch two, and look like an ididot on the strike 3 breaker. Polanco struck out again, but I’m sure the thumb bothers him still. Questions?

(1)Can anyone identify the last time Grilli retired all batters he faced without being taken out? (2) Can we beat Cleveland or the Yankees by issuing an average of 5 walks a game or(3) striking out 14 of 27 outs? (4) Will Durbin make a start and get out of the 4th? (5)Will Guillen, Inge, Pudge, or Monroe ever hit another HR? (6) Can Jeremy Bonderman get win # 11 this year?(7) Who will be the next 230 hitter to hit a 2 run homer, and find us down 2-0 in the second?(8) and finally, Will I ever get through asking questions? I’ll answer that one. I’m done with questions. Please help with the answes. My beloved Tigers CANNOT hit quality pitching; that means at best we split with Cleveland.

Well I have an answer for you regarding Grilli, well kinda I can tell you that out of his 44 appearences this year only 22 times has he gone without giving up a run. And I believe that actually last time is was about around August 3rd or 4th.

Although I don’t think that is right to blame this on Grilli. I think it was a huge error to have Durbin start. He is not stretched out. But the fact of the matter is that even if they only would of allowed 3 runs it still wouldn’t have been enough we only got 4 hits and struck out 14 times. You aren’t going to win any games doing that unless your pitcher throw a shutout. They completely embaressed themselves tonight and for the last 2 weeks frankly.

What do you mean we can’t hit quality pitching we cannot hit bad pitching. Don’t give Gaudin too much credit, we swung at a lot of bad pitches. Pitiful. I have gone on enough now. Good night.

All right, it’s up to me to present the other side.

Gaudin is supposed to have poor control. We came in with a hitting approach meant to exploit that. Instead, he threw all his pitches for strikes and we were behind in the count all night long. Okay fine, a good hitting team can make an adjustment to that…..except when they fall far behind. And again, no homeruns, no offense. It’s that simple. I won’t address issues that have already been brought up as they are valid, i.e. nearly all of Inge’s at bats are identical, ending with him checking his swing on the slider off the outside corner. I do have a question on these Sheffield stats: do we have a stat that shows how many times he’s drawn a walk to extend an inning for Maggs to get the big hit?

From where I was sitting, Grilli didn’t look quite as bad as it seems. He came in throwing a live fastball and was keeping his breaking pitch in and around the zone. The single he allowed was a medium grounder up the middle that a shortstop with better knees would have gobbled up. Then the umpire started squeezing him, as usual. Umpires make many of their calls based on reputation, and Grilli’s is that of a pitcher with no control. Heaven help a pitcher once that word gets around. I saw him get a strike on the outside corner, throw an identical one two pitches later only to have that one called a ball. Finally, he started aiming the ball and he was done. Really, how is a pitcher supposed to be effective when he’s forced to throw nearly everything down the middle of the plate?

Then our “fans” put up a big cheer when Leyland appears to remove Grilli, then they boo the guy as he walks off. How about our “fans” take that show to the Bronx where it’s accepted behavior.

And yes, that is an amazing feat by Polanco. I was hoping he wouldn’t get jobbed in the record setting game.

Though it may sound like it, I’m not making excuses for this team. If they continue to have outcomes like the past few weeks, they won’t win anything. Bonderman has to come out tomorrow and pitch like the ace he’s supposed to be, because we’ve got a raw rookie going the next night.

There are, starting tonight, seven weeks to go. Let’s not turn on our own guys. I still derive a great deal of enjoyment from watching the games. Do you?

Hey rlp,
Never would I abandon these Tigers. As I’ve told you on many occasions, I’m there through it all. I love these guys; Inge is my favorite player; he played ball 45 miles from wher I live. But I just don’t see true adjustments or different hitting approaches from our guys. Remember, Shields and his guys fanned 13 a few nights ago. These ar sub 500 teams. I agree that Gaudan is not an ace, but again his ptich count was 102 in the 7th., and Durbin is gone in the 4th. Just wishing that Brandon would make an adjustment, and that Pudge could see a three ball count.

They made the clutch hits, we didn’t. I always feel funny criticizing a future hall of famer, but Pudge’s approach to hitting is one of the main ingredients in an offense that has been sputtering more often than not lately. 8 walks yesterday and a win. 14 strikeouts today and a loss. Easy math. Not sure why some seem to think Gaudin is chopped liver or something. He’s got an era of 4.14 and is 9-8 on a team that USUALLY doesn’t score a lot of runs. I thought he looked pretty good in there. He was hitting some good spots. Durbin tried. I think he needs an expanded strike zone to be really effective but he didn’t get a couple of key calls that may or may not have made any difference. I think it’s a difficult task asking a pitcher to switch gears so much in a season. Chad started, then relieved, now is asked to start again. He seemed to start slowly at the beginning of the season too, but improved with each start, then was “rewarded” by getting sent to the pen. I know I’m making excuses for him but..why not? Grilli was brought in because he has the highest strikeout ratio in the pen(well I’m guessing on this one cause I’m not bothering to look it up, maybe Byrdak). Trouble is he has a high walk ratio too and always pitches behind in the count. Still, for all the negative comments, he wasn’t the reason the Tigers lost. Well if JL continues to put the pressure on him at home and if the Tiger fans continue to shamelessly boo him (supposedly booing JL…right)his days with Detroit will be numbered. Or maybe he’ll be able to help the team on the road, he seems to do much better there.

I liked Thames tonight. Sheff has got to relax. Right now he works himself into a favorable pitch count like 2-1 and then has already made up his mind that the next pitch will be a strike. He’s waiving at a lot of pitches down and away. Right now pitchers don’t have to throw him any cheese as Rod puts it. At least he works the count, Pudge only lets one go by when it’s a called strike 3. I’m sorry I’m in one of those moods, not making any friends tonight. Pudge you’re a great player, but please change your hitting approach…it’s killing us.

The defense is shaky…after all it is 20th in mlb. I think Placido actually made the only play he could, sparing Guillen a sure error. I thought it was a pretty nifty play, although I couldn’t tell how close a play he might have had at 2nd. And a play like that could have resulted in an errant throw and there goes the record. I wish every one could play with his focus.

Another one in the loss column. But ya know, anything can happen. The Yankees are red hot, which means they’re due for a fall. Bring um. Cleveland will be very important next 2 games. Jair Jurrjens (love the name)will be interesting to watch. I see he’s 6’0 and 160 lbs., not the typical big frame pitcher so common today. Kind of refreshing actually, he must be similar in build to Yankee great Ron Guidry who I recall was pretty lean and not real tall either. Just checked, he went 25-3 with a 1.74 era in 1978, not too shabby.

Anyway I wouldn’t pin this loss entirely on pitching. The contributions were generously spread around. Let’s hope for better tomorrow. Just want to end on a good comment. Congratulations Placido. That is some feat, worthy of baseball praise. And you’re hitting .344, 3rd in the league, those are legitimate mvp stats for a guy playing a middle position.

I agree as I said last night pitching was not necessarily the whole problem last night, probably not even the biggest. And it makes me real upset that so-called Tiger fans are booing Jason Grilli, talk about kicking someone when they are down. I think that it shows little class. I was there 4 times last week and everytime he was booed. I was embarressed for the people who where doing it. The thing is that it is probably going to have the opposite effect, It is only going to make Jason more nervous or whatever and try to be even more perfect than he is capable of.

The problem last night was hitting – it was pitiful, and I don’t think that it was how great Gaudin was last night – he wasn’t, our hitters after the first inning became impatient for the most part. And for yes Pudges batting approach is troublesome lately he was one of only 4 guys that got hits (along with Guillen, Magglio, and Inge) Granderson walked a couple of times and Guillen once. Polanco was safe on a fielders choice and was hit by a pitch. Anyway you see what I am saying pitching would of had to have been perfect, and you cannot expect that from a fill -in Durbin, you just can’t. He was been a used poorly, back and forth and back and forth. Not fair to him or good for the team.

Anyway, I will still be there watching every game, I just don’t believe at this point they have whatever it is that is maked them role in May June and most of July. At least not consistently enough. And just imagine if a poor hitting team like CWS, A’s kick our butts, then what are we going to do with teams like the Yankees and Cleveland who can actually hit??? If your not pitching well you don’t stand a chance.

Last night when I said “let’s not turn on our own guys” I was speaking of the boobirds at the ballpark, not anyone here. My apologies if that was unclear. I shouldn’t have used first person there.

I have a strange fact, then a suggestion. First the fact:

After the White Sox won it all in 2005, they got out of the gate strong the following season. In the second half, they faded, yet kept in the race, while their fans must have been saying “well we’re still near first place.” They finished with 90 wins. Sound familiar? And the Tigers are on pace to win…you guessed it……90 games. Weird.

Now the suggestion: bring up Santiago. Instead of Thames playing firstbase against lefties, put Guillen over there and Ramon at short. Thames becomes the regular leftfielder. That way you strengthen the defense for some games while keeping Gullen’s bat in place of Monroe’s. With that in place, there are other ways the lineup can be shuffled to get Santiago in there more.

Good ol’ Carlos is soldiering on, but he really needs help for the stretch run. And a stretch run requires a strong defense. Remember how slick Santiago and Polanco were out there?

If the pitching continues to fail, it’s all academic of course, but that’s my idea.

Excellent idea Rich. Maybe JL will or has considered it already. There have been a ton of singles hit up the middle since the All Star Game. They’re killing us. Can’t help but think that Santiago could have gotten to some of those. This defense really needs a pick up …some quickness. It would help the confidence of all the pitchers. A hit taken away is worth a hit on offense, maybe more.

This move would subtract from some of Raburn’s value, although I don’t mind having him spot start in center against lefties, and he can still be inserted defensively in RF or LF with late inning leads. Dan, I know you like Curtis in there against lefties too, but he usually enters the game later anyway and still gets one, maybe two at bats.

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